Well, the world is opening up again despite Covid still being around in its various forms and Monkey Pox causing some anxiety for the back to school group and I’m starting to contemplate travel once more. In the meantime, living in my trailer near Carleton Place, Ontario for the camping season is a lovely change from tall buildings, elevators, and traffic, although we do see our share of the latter here, especially on long weekends.
I had to take the car in today to get my back-up sensors checked and as it didn’t take too long, I thought I’d try to find a labyrinth I’d come across last summer by accident. I got interested in labyrinths quite a few years back and took part in creating one in the community surrounding a school I taught at where we put sand in the bottom of a paper bag, added a tea light, and set them out lighting them after dark to form the labyrinth and walked it together. I thought when I retired I’d like to visit labyrinths in various famous places around the world. I went to Barcelona where they have one, but it was a long way from where I was staying and I found I ran out of time. I plan to go back one day and try again. Then I realized there were labyrinths right here in the Ottawa Valley that I could start with, so today I set out and found my first permanent one.
Located on George Street, just behind the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum at 267 Edmund St., The Carleton Place Community Labyrinth is in a beautiful setting, the grounds and adjacent contemplation garden maintained by the Carleton Place Horticultural Society. I arrived just as nearby church bells were tolling 10 o’clock followed by a lovely carillon of hymns, some of which I recognized. Turn up your sound to hear them.
This labyrinth is in the 7-circuit Classical Cretan style designed with grass and brick (you walk on the grass) and is about .5 km in length. I had it all to myself and enjoyed the music for about the first 10 minutes and while contemplating, could not resist taking a few pictures to share with you all. The paintings on boards that cover the windows at the back of the museum are lovely. I kept looking over my shoulder at the policeman who appears to be sitting on the fire escape but, of course, is not. (You’ll have to enlarge the 2nd photo in the gallery to see him.)
A stone bench just to the right inside the entrance has a Chartres labyrinth (an eleven circuit walk) embedded in it so you can sit and run your finger along the path to continue your meditation or start there before your walk. The stone path around the labyrinth has several other benches and is called the contemplation ring, a place to rest or it can be your walk.
On your way out, don’t forget to sign the guest book which is in a baggie in a mailbox with a pen and some brochures. Record your visit, where you’re from, and a nice comment about your experience or the gardens.
The accompanying gardens are lovely and a credit to the horticultural society. I could just imagine sitting and enjoying them on a quiet afternoon either before or after walking the path. It is a perfect setting for contemplation and complements the path beautifully. If you are in the Carleton Place area, you can walk it anytime but an event called “Creativity on the Labyrinth” with Brittany Lepage, The Dahlia Darling is planned for Saturday September 24th from 9 am to 11 am and on October 8th at 10 am “Sock Project” Labyrinth Walk is planned with Jessica Lynn Baird — wear a pair of crazy socks to walk the path and a portion of donations will support the Sock Project.
Next time I’ll tell you more about the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. Till then, cheers!